Widow criticises boat tragedy sentence
THE widow of a Suffolk man who was among 58 people who died when a boat capsized in Bahrain has criticised the ten-year jail term handed to its owner. Nicola Nolan's husband Will, 50, was trapped on a lower deck of the wooden dhow Al Dana which sunk in calm waters on March 30 last year after making a sharp turn.
THE widow of a Suffolk man who was among 58 people who died when a boat capsized in Bahrain has criticised the ten-year jail term handed to its owner.
Nicola Nolan's husband Will, 50, was trapped on a lower deck of the wooden dhow Al Dana which sunk in calm waters on March 30 last year after making a sharp turn.
The disaster was caused by a string of safety failings and its owner, Abdulla Al Kobaisi, 42, was jailed for ten years for manslaughter on Wednesday. He is now on bail pending an appeal.
The ship's captain, Rajendrakumar Ramjibhai, who was imprisoned shortly after the disaster, was jailed for three years after a hearing in the lower criminal court.
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But Mrs Nolan, who was able to swim to safety after the boat sank, said she was not happy with the court's ruling.
She said: “Ten years is a bit of a joke really. It's not enough for 58 lives. I'm not happy at all.
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“He is appealing now and criminal cases tend to go on for a very long time. We're in limbo and we are waiting for advice before taking civil proceedings.”
The couple had lived in Bahrain for ten years due to Mr Nolan's work as a civil engineer and had been enjoying a party on the boat to celebrate the building of the country's World Trade Centre - of which Mr Nolan was project director - when disaster struck.
Mrs Nolan, 46, has now returned to the home the family kept in Ipswich and is rebuilding her life with her children Sarah Jane, 19, who is studying at university in London, and David, 17.
She said she wanted to thank all her family and friends who had helped her - and were still helping her - get through the ordeal of losing her husband.
Mrs Nolan, who is originally from Felixstowe said: “My children are coping the best they can, trying to come to terms with the loss of their father and the lifestyle they had. We are trying to pick up the pieces and put our lives back together again.”
Mrs Nolan, who escaped with minor bruising after the disaster, said she still visited Bahrain regularly as she has kept their home in the Middle East. She remains in contact with the families of other victims and they were gaining support from each other.